What are the differences between stem cells in plants and human stem cells?
Stem cells are unspecialised cells, which can undergo a process called differentiation to become specialised cells. Plant stem cells only have one type of stem cell: meristematic stem cells. These can differentiate into any type of specialised plant cell. Plants always have a store of meristematic stem cells throughout their entire life. Humans have two types of stem cells: embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells. Embryonic stem cells can differentiate into any specialised cell in the body (like meristematic stem cells), whereas adult stem cells can only differentiate into a few types of specialised cells. Humans only have embryonic cells during the brief period of life as an embryo. For the rest of their life, as a child and adult, humans only have adult stem cells.
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